CD Howl and Filth [Digipak] * (CD 16032733),
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Howl and Filth [Digipak] *

  • 1. Ritual
    2. Silent Shroud
    3. All of This Is Mine
    4. Eternal
    5. Slow Burn
    6. Misery Coil, The
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): TL 592

  • Credits
    EngineerKurt Ballou

    Personnel: Josh Holt (vocals, guitar, piano); Meg Mulhearn (violin); Travis Kammeyer (bass guitar); Billy Graves (percussion).
    Audio Mixer: Kurt Ballou.
    Recording information: Fahrenheit Studios, Johnson City, TN; God City, Salem, MA.
    Photographer: Anthony Couri.
    The third release by Generation of Vipers is a classic case of something sounding just about what you'd expect it to -- and not just because of the Kurt Ballou production or concurrent membership in U.S. Christmas and Storm of Light -- and surpassing it, with an album that works not by innovation but by relentless assault and focus. Even if there's a little variety here and there -- most notably and obviously with "All of This Is Mine" as a short piano-led piece with distant strings and screams -- Howl and Filth is essentially summed up from the start with the opening "Ritual." It has a great title and a bit of the rolling invocation-of-the-spirits punch one would want, plus a dreamy little psych shimmer in the first lead part, before suddenly ramping up with even more charging guitar. That theatrical moment is further topped by a bigger explosion in the arrangement, with ranting vocals so perfectly buried in the mix that the song is constantly on the verge of being a cryptic instrumental and a shrieking anthem before sprawling downward into a drum-led section, feedback collapsing and echoing away, ending with a surging crunch that feels like the band's aiming for Olympus and devil take the hindmost. If nothing else can quite match that opening, it's mostly because that shock at the start is so strong; similar elements and textures set the course of Howl and Filth, but thankfully with a little variety to recommend it, too, as with the live-wire sparking feeling that helps start the concluding "Misery Coil." Also, it's hard to knock a song called "Slow Burn" that fully lives up to its name. ~ Ned Raggett

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